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Montreal-area man guilty of drug trafficking, money laundering in U.S.

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-area-man-guilty-of-drug-trafficking-money-laundering-in-u-s

 

A 41-year-old Brossard man is among five people to plead guilty in an international drug trafficking and money laundering ring stretching through Peru, Mexico, the U.S. and Montreal, it was announced Friday.

Iraklis Haviaropoulos pleaded guilty to being the leader of a Montreal-based organization that purchased and distributed more than 300 kilograms of cocaine and laundered more than $1 million. 

According to U.S. Justice Department officials, Haviaropoulos purchased cocaine on the northern coast of Peru, where it was picked up by pilots at a concealed airstrip and flown to Guatemala and Mexico. 

Once in Mexico, the cocaine was trucked into the U.S. and Canada.

During the investigation, more than 337 kilograms of cocaine were seized, as well as quantities of fentanyl and marijuana. 

Justice Department officials say at least $1 million was sent to Chicago, Los Angeles, Peru and Colombia; money was also wired to China. 

James Hunt, a special agent of the Drug Enforcement Agency, described the trafficking ring as “highly significant.”

Haviaropoulos, Carlos Alberto Ocampo Garcia and Jose Mauricio Ortiz Bolanos — both from Cali, Colombia —  pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering.

Eduardo Nunez-Serna of Chicago and James DeSantis of Pompano Beach, Fla., pleaded guilty to money laundering charges.

The investigation involved law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Peru, Guatemala, Colombia and Mexico, as well as the Sûreté du Québec and Canadian Border Services Agency.